Monday, January 24, 2011

Challenges facing young Christians

Congratulations on your decision to adopt the Christian
lifestyle. You are blessed to have taken the step to follow
Christ early in your life.

As a young person in Christ you are likely to have many
questions for which you need answers. You have a vision of
a bright future but there are some dark clouds in the back
of your mind that keep coming into the picture.

Here are five questions that every young Christian must
think about and helpful advice about how to deal with them.

1. Will I remain faithful?

Making the decision to become a Christian is the single
most important decision that you will make in your life. A
feature of human behaviour is that immense doubt and
reflection tend to confront us when we make major
decisions. This is what marketers recognize as "buyer's
remorse" and is linked to dissonance theory.

The joy and the excitement of having taken the bold step to
become a Christian are accompanied by nagging thoughts
about whether you made the right decision. You may recall
your "For eternity" response to the question as to how long
you will remain faithful. Yet, the glee with which your
answer was received suggests that another response is
possible. Your faithfulness till death is not guaranteed.

I want to share with you some proven strategies for helping
you in living faithfully as a Christian:

Accept the fact that your doubts and fears are not
surprising and is a regular occurrence. You are not alone
in this and many have overcome those negative thoughts.

Your concerns are genuine and should be heeded. They are
there to protect you from overconfidence and complacency.

Win the battle against the negative forces by seeking
security in the constant contact with well grounded, mature
Christians.

Knowledge drives out fear. Be a faithful student of the
Bible and watch your confidence grow.

2. What about my friends and colleagues?

One issue that is sure to bother you is how to deal with
your non-Christian friends and colleagues. The degree of
difficulty that friends and colleagues present to your
Christian walk is dependent on the relationships you had
before you became a Christian.

Be assured about one thing. No matter what reactions you
get on the surface, all right thinking individuals respect
your decision to accept Jesus as Lord of your life. They
may not have the courage to follow your example and peer
pressure might cause them to jeer and tease. However, deep
inside they appreciate your commitment and hold you in high
esteem.

It is important to realize that you will be keenly observed
and that you should be careful to lead a Christian
lifestyle. Be a witness to them by living in keeping with
Christian principles.

3. Can I still have fun?

Don't be surprised if you feel that a decision to become a
Christian is a choice to give up fun. Many have the image
of a Christian as a very serious-minded individual who has
decided to give up happiness.

Be assured that one fruit of the Spirit is JOY. Happy
moments and the pleasures of the world are fleeting. Joy
is enduring.

Here is some further advice:

3.1 Reflect on your own interests and hobbies. Things that
you enjoy doing.

3.2 Seek out Christians that share those interests and work
out how you will enjoy wholesome fun together.

3.3 Share with your Christian brethren the fun that can be
had in pursuing your interests.

3.4 Open your mind to new opportunities for enjoyment and
satisfaction.

4. What if I mess up?

As a Christian you are concerned about your salvation. You
are also fully conscious that you are not perfect and that
you are not free from sin.

Many Christians are scared that they might lose their
salvation: 6 "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No
one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him."

God abhors sin and Christians are required to avoid wilful
sinning. With that at the forefront of your mind you can
take comfort in this quote from 1 John 1: sentence 5 9 "If
we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will
forgive us our sins and purify us from all
unrighteousness."

It is your attitude to sin that really matters in your
Christian journey. True repentance is the answer for those
times when you occasionally slip. If you genuinely regret
the trespass and commit to doing your best to avoid the
error in the future you will be on good grounds.

Study of God's word and fellowship with supportive
Christians are great strategies for remaining faithful in
your Christian walk and moving on to claiming Eternal Life.

5. How can I really know what God wants me to do?

Christians of all ages have to grapple with the question of
God's Will for their lives on an ongoing basis. You will
also be seeking clarity as what is your life's purpose and
what role you are expected to play in God's service.

Today, God speaks to us through His word - the Bible. The
surest way to feel comfortable about the choices you make
is by diligent study of the Scriptures.

You can also benefit from the advice of wise and
spiritually mature Christians.

Take comfort in the fact that God rewards those who
diligently seek Him.

Finally, accept the encouragement of Romans 12:12 "Be
joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."


----------------------------------------------------
TrevorESSmith is an author (Success in Marriage - Amazon)
and people skills and performance enhancement specialist
with the Success with People Academy
(http://www.swpacademy.com). He is a hands-on practitioner
in the areas of Inter-personal relations, Marketing, Sales,
HR and Management processes.He presents unique perspectives
on inter-personal relationships, leadership, team building,
customer service, technology and time mastery.


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